Sam's still smiling after Rio exploits
Samantha Murray admits she has 'unfinished business' after achieving a second top-10 Olympic Games finish in Rio.
The Clitheroe athlete was aiming to add to her silver medal from London 2012, and become the first female to medal twice at the Games in Modern Pentathlon.
However, the opening event, the fencing ranking round, made life difficult, leaving her joint 28th, before climbing to 14th after the swim – where she was fourth fastest – and the fencing bonus round.
After the ride, she slipped to 18th, but went on to finish ninth after the combined run-shoot.
While disappointed, the 2014 World champion takes a lot of pluses from her performance in four of the five Modern Pentathlon disciplines.
And though Tokyo 2020 is a long way away yet, she is certainly not planning to retire any time soon.
The 26-year-old said: “I can’t watch the event back yet, and I am very disappointed – if I let myself, I could be really upset and be negative.
“I think people were hoping I would win a medal to save our sport financially for another four years but I didn’t.
“I can either let that get to me, and feel guilty – I came home empty-handed – I’ve been down the depression road before, but I’ve had two top -10 finishes at the Olympic Games, I held my own, I enjoyed it, and I feel I have unfinished business.
“I’m still young enough, and I have to be positive about what I have and I’m able to give.
“That’s how I’m choosing to look at it.
“It gives you a bit of peace of mind to think that there are five events, and one of them was weak, but the rest were strong enough to bring me from almost last to top 10 at the Olympic Games.
“It gives me a lot of faith in my performances overall and faith in my future.
“For every athlete there is the ‘if only’. My former team-mate Mhairi Spence, she got a quote from the Rudyard Kipling “If” poem, about meeting fire with fire.
“Athletes are always like that – that good moment can spur you on for another season, whereas a bad moment or a bad patch can crush you mentally. I picked myself up, and I enjoyed it.
“I still enjoy it, I still love what I do, and when you look at Kim Collins in the 100 metres, or Serena Williams, people ask, ‘Why are they still doing it?’ – if you have been bitten by that bug, once you’ve got it, it’s very hard to stop.
“So, to cross the line in the top 10, I was very pleased in the end.”
She is back in action at the start of October, in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup.